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Ironman 70.3 Racine - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Event warmup:

RR also posted in my blog with pictures! And it can be found here

Well Racine has come and gone and after a few days of soul searching for answers I think I have come away with what I need to take from it. The goal was simple: have a solid and well paced effort of swim, bike, run, and an added bonus if all went according to plan to go sub-5. Well if any of you saw me on the run course you know that simply did not happen. Infact I put in my worst performance-to-date in any triathlon. What happened? No I did not over pace myself on the bike, I did not succumb to the blisteringly hot heat, I wasn't off in my nutrition, I simply failed in the mental process, and it all started in T2.

Going into the race I felt that a sub-5 performance was well within reach, that was until the forecast came out, and I decided that forgetting about a time goal and simply focusing on a solid effort all-around was the goal. My training leading up to Racine had some small hiccups, but nothing major, and come race week my body started to really come around and feel fresh for Sunday. I had an easy run Friday and my legs felt fresh and ready to go for Sunday. I have worked on my run a lot this year and I couldn't wait to show it off.

  • 00m
  • 2112 yards
  • / 100 yards

Swim 2010-35:55, 2011-33:15
I started in the front row of my wave, and as suddenly as the gun went off I found myself falling towards the back already. With the shallow start I tried to fight for position walking through the water, but after some quick dolphin dives I realized it was too shallow and crowded so I started to swim a bit early instead. We rounded the first buoy and set off for the swim parallel to the shoreline. As I sighted I noticed a small group of swimmers take off. The lead pack that I wanted to try to hang with was gone and I was leading the chase pack. We quickly all took our own paces and spread out, while another Ag'er and myself got into some clear water and swam the course mostly side-by-side. My pace was easy, my sighting was great, and I was getting some lessons in drafting as well. Everything was going well, and I felt a lot stronger then I did last year, and more importantly swam and even effort throughout the swim. We started to reach shore and I wanted to swim as close as I could to avoid the long walk through knee deep water, but still walked a decent portion back into shore.

Transition 1
  • 00m

T1 2010-3:18, 2011-2:27
I took T1 as easy as I could and even walked parts of the beach to avoid my HR spiking to high so early on. Mission accomplished and I have a transition that was not only a minute faster then last year but twice as efficient.

  • 00m
  • 56 miles
  • 0.00 mile/hr

Bike 2010-2:40:14, 2011-2:38:34
Once on the bike the plan was simple. Get out of town, start the nutrition and cruise through the first half of the ride. But just as the case in every other race this year, my legs felt heavy and I couldn't even seem to push easy gears. I tried to stay patient knowing that my legs would come around eventualy at some point. It took awhile but my legs came around as did my stomach so I could start taking in my nutrition. Just as all this was happening I could really start to feel the heat under my aero-helmet, my body instantly felt like a furnace and knew I needed to keep cool before the run. Note to self, do not wear an aero-helmet in temps over 95. Unfortunately just before this, my water fell off my frame and I was still about 10 miles away from the next aid station. As I got to the second aid station I took a water bottle for my frame and then used the second to pour over my body. I even poured some over my dome like helmet and realized that was just a waste of water! On the second half of the ride I was able to push some bigger gears, get my nutrition in, and keep my HR at the 145 spot that I had planned for, my patience lead me to have my body come around just in time. I was heading back towards T2 a little off pace, but feeling good, finished off my bottle of nutrition and ready to leave it all on the run. I had a perfect dismount amd passed a couple of other AG'ers while running into T2.

Transition 2
  • 00m

T2 2010-2:02 ,2011-1:44
This is where everything started to unravel for me and if anyone has heard about Rasmus Henning's blunders in T1 at Kona last year I was similiar to that. Being #61 my spot was near our reentry into transition, but I still managed to get lost in transition and ran past my spot by a significant amount. With my wonderful girlfriend Kate screaming at me and pointing to my spot I was able to find where I needed to be. There was no reason to rush through transition, and I wanted to take my time just as I did in T1 a couple hours earlier. Bike racked, shoes on, run out. I quickly realized just how much I forgot, gels, glasses, watch, and salt. I was only a few steps away before I realized this and made the turn around, but it was enough to get my excited, spike my HR, and leave me frustrated and anything but calm. I collected what I needed and heading back towards the run exit. Only this time my hands were literally full of stuff I was taking with me on the run. I knew right from the beginning I had it all wrong. I fumbled with my watch trying to put it on, while carry my salt in an empty fuelbelt flask. I decided to forgo mixing my gels with water and carrying those along in the back of my GG jersey and knew that was the wrong decision.

  • 00m
  • 13.1 miles
  •  min/mile

Run 2010-2:06:14, 2011-2:40:07
My plan called to break the run down into 4x5k run segments, and each segment consisting of one leg of each loop. Warmup the first 5K out, hold the 8:15-8:30 pace for the next 0K, and then finish with what I had left in me on my final 5K return home. With my mind still left in T2 all I could think about was running the full 13.1 ahead of me. I tried to focus my mind and get myself settled in, and by this point I reached the first "hill" of the course and I planned to take it easy, but knew I just had to walk. This happened again on the following "hill" and I was already losing my focus. Mentally I was doommed but I tried to regain my composure and forget about the first mile. After that the rest of the run became a demoralizing, embarassing, and defeating walk with run attempt after run attempt that never seemed to progress. My heart rate was never high, my breathing was completely in control and my legs felt great, but when it came to the idea of running my mind just simply wanted no part in it. In all of this confusion I had lost my focus, was concerned about how my pace was off. Far too early into the run I gave up on myself and rationalized the thought of just getting myself to the finish was now my goal. I finally came in after a 2:40 run split, yup I out-split my bike from my run and even my bike was a bit off.

Post race
Event comments:

With all that happened on Sunday I was given a harsh dose of realiaty with just how strong you need to be mentally, and focused as well to have a good performance. In my short time in this sport of triathlon I have seemingly learned how hard it can be to focus on this distance for 5-6 hours continously. A big thank you needs to go out to all GG'ers on and off the course that offered words of encouragement to me, to hang through the run, some offered for me to try to run with them, others telling me to keep positive, all the support made Sunday much more bareable and enjoyable for me. Ultimately this was the hardest race I have gone through mentally, and the thought of pulling myself out came into question more then just a handful of times. I do have a strong "Do Not DNF" rule that I have to keep and was able to cross the line...eventually and kept my record intact. But hey my lime green sunglass frames seemed to be a big hit on the run, so they will be making their way out of my bag again soon!

Last updated: 2010-11-17 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 2112 yards | / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:00:00 | 56 miles | 0.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:00:00 | 13.1 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-07-22 12:42 PM

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Racine

2011-07-22 1:23 PM
in reply to: #3610222

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Racine
Couple of quick thoughts. Don't worry about spiking your HR exiting the water and running through Transition. GO FAST, that's free time. Try spinning an easy gear once you get on the bike to lossed them up for a few miles. Try tying a bit of ribbon or something on the rack above your stuff, a visual cue you will see as all gear on the ground looks the same. Make it part of your T2 plan to pick up all that stuff and start running with it and put on glasses, watch, gels in pocket, ect. while you are moving out. In regards to the run, not sure what to say. If you were planning on running to a pace using a watch, just start watching the watch! Don't consider the course or the distance, just start running and follow the watch. It's distracting and keeps you focused on the NOW, which is where your mind must be.
2011-07-22 1:49 PM
in reply to: #3610222

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Extreme Veteran
Brambleton, VA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Racine
Use this as a learning experience to build on. Sometimes you need to go through a cluster F'up, to move to the next level. Pay-up for the next race and start looking forward. Way to hang in there and finish the race.
2011-07-22 3:09 PM
in reply to: #3610222

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2011-07-24 6:07 AM
in reply to: #3610222

West Bend, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Racine
Ben-  You will get there.  These things arent exactly easy.

Keep putting the time in!

I remember seeing those sun glasses.... I didnt comprehend it was you in there    
2011-07-24 7:03 AM
in reply to: #3610222

Tosa, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Racine

Ben, it was great to see you out on course.  

My only input is to not overly discount the heat and its effect on your body or your times.  I rode the bike at much lower wattage than usual and still needed to slow down again around mile 30 to keep the belly from revolting!  I also added time to my usual 1/2 paces and was still unable to hold that pace.  It was f'ing hot ..... out of your control and needed to be respected.  

2011-07-27 10:08 AM
in reply to: #3610222

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Racine
Ben, amazing race! I know you are disappointed, but man, I would kill for that time (and well, you read my RR lol). You will get it next time!!!
Was great to meet you at dinner in Racine!
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